, NYANDARUA, Kenya, Jul 11 – The ministry of Youth Affairs will spend Sh3 million in efforts to conserve the drying Lake Ol-bolossat in Nyandarua through the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme.
The programme will engage at least 400 youths in a massive tree planting exercise in the lake’s conservation area where a total of 120,000 indigenous tree seedlings are earmarked to be planted by the end of this year.
“The seedlings are ready and the youths who will plant the seedlings and water them in the next two months have also identified,” Nyandarua North Youth Officer Peter Muthini said on Friday.
Mr Muthini said that 10,000 seedlings will be planted at the Kirima area while the rest will be planted at the Weru area within the conservation area of the only fresh lake in the province.
Nyandarua North DC Hassan Farah, while launching the program, noted with concern the high rate at which the lake is drying up and called for more concerted efforts to reverse the trend.
Mr Farah cited the ever-increasing human encroachment in the conservation area as one of the major hindrances in the efforts to save the lake. The administrator said that the lake had over 10,000 hectares conservation area some one decade ago but only 3,000 is now remaining while the rest has irregularly been allocated.
“Why has the Ministry of lands even allocated plots so close to the lakes’ water line not considering any conservations measures,” he wondered.
He further noted that farmers around the area and also in the water catchments’ areas continue to grow the eucalyptus trees despite the dangers they pose to the ground water.
The DC observed that the government was spending billion of shillings in various development programs in the area but with a well conserved environment the funds may not realize the desired results. He said it was unfortunate to see the district was being given relief food due to the prolonged dry spell that is partly to be blamed to deforestation in the district.
The DC urged the residents to intensify their efforts to reverse the trend by also planting trees in their farms to boost up the forest cover in the district.
He said the drying up of rivers from the area was a great threat not only to the farmers but also to the pastoralists down the stream and hence a source of conflict in future.